Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The destruction of enemy possessions and territory was a fundamental strategy of war, serving the dual purpose of punishment and deprivation of resources.[2] Until the 5th century BC, the Greeks had little expertise in siege warfare and relied on a strategy of devastation to draw the enemy out; they destroyed crops, trees and houses. Centuries later, the Byzantines recommended this strategy, even though they had developed siege technology.[3] Fire was the easiest way of harrying and destroying territories, and could be done easily and quickly by small forces.[4] It was a strategy put to good use by the Scots during the Wars of Independence; they repeatedly launched raids into northern England, burning much of the countryside until the whole region was transformed.[2] King Edward II of England pursued one raiding party in 1327 by following the lights of burning villages.[4]

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